Did you know that some pooches require hypoallergenic dog food? It’s true. Everyone knows that people have allergies, but what surprises some people is that dogs can have allergies, too. It’s true. Take me and my Maltese, Odie, for example. I’m allergic to him, and he’s allergic to me. Yep. We had allergy testing done on him, and it was confirmed that I was not a hypoallergenic owner for my hypoallergenic dog! O_O
What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Hypoallergenic dog food is any dog food which is made with ingredients known to be easy on the system of a pooch with sensitivities. Because there are so many dogs with so many different food sensitivities, there are many hypoallergenic dog foods out there. What works for one dog might not work for another, so you have everything from duck and potato to salmon and green pea. In most cases, hypoallergenic dog food will contain no grain, chicken, beef, egg, soy, yeast, or corn. These ingredients are the biggest offenders when it comes to food sensitivities in dogs. There are a couple of reasons for that. Grain, eggs, corn, and yeast, for instance, were never a natural part of any canine’s diet. In the case of beef and chicken, years of using sub-par sources of these proteins like chicken and beef by-products have lead to them wreaking havoc on the systems of many dogs.
What are the Different Varieties of Hypoallergenic Dog Food
As I said, there are many varieties of hypoallergenic dog food because so many dogs have food sensitivities. While several companies sell hypoallergenic dog food over-the-counter, I strongly recommend consulting your vet about how to approach the transition to a specialty food. Finding the source of your dog’s food sensitivity can be a long process of trial and error, so the guidance of your vet can be an enormous help.
Here are several varieties of hypoallergenic dog food for you to try with your vet’s supervision.
Natural Balance has been around for a while, and it’s a great company. The vet that I worked for recommends this brand almost exclusively. It features a wide range of protein/carbohydrate combinations of hypoallergenic dog food including sweet potato & venison, lamb meal & brown rice, sweet potato & fish, and sweet potato & bison.
This is another great company for hypoallergenic dog food. Blue Buffalo has a couple of lines of food for dogs with food sensitivities. Blue Freedom is a line that focuses on the removal of grains and gluten. It’s okay that they still use protein sources like chicken and beef, because some dogs are only allergic to grains and gluten. Blue Basics is their line of hypoallergenic dog food that focuses on both grain and protein sensitivities. They have variations like turkey & potato, salmon & potato, duck & potato, and lamb & potato. This is another brand that my vet recommends frequently.
If you have a dog that over-the-counter hypoallergenic dog food isn’t helping, you can get prescription diets for them. These prescription foods are engineered to go easy on your dog’s sensitive digestive tract. Dog foods like Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein HP and Hill’s Z/D Ultra do more than just eliminate ingredients. For example, Royal Canin’s food includes beet pulp and B12 to help soothe your dog’s ultra-sensitive digestive tract and their hydrolyzed proteins are easy to digest. Hill’s Z/D Ultra uses hydrolyzed protein as well. They also use highly digestible carbohydrates and fats that are easy on your dog’s system.
These are just a few of the varieties of hypoallergenic dog food brands available. They are also the ones that I highly recommend. My vet – whom I worked with for seven years – recommends these brands almost exclusively for their efficacy and safety. If your dog is having digestive issues, visit your vet and make a plan for transitioning to a food that works for your fuzzy buddy. It will help more than just their digestive tract. Dogs with food allergies are highly prone to allergic skin reactions, secondary infections from their allergic skin, and chronic ear infections. Switching your dog to a hypoallergenic dog food will almost always remedy all of these problems if they originate from a food sensitivity. Give it a shot.
Do you have experience feeding your pooch hypoallergenic dog food? Share your thoughts in the comment section.